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Betta ibanorum TAN & NG, 2004

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

B. ibanorum is uncommon in the hobby and is apparently more frequently fished for food than the aquarium trade. It’s included in the Betta akarensis group/complex of closely-related species within the genus, of which members share the following set of characters: possession of pre-orbital and post-orbital stripes (the post-orbital stripe is faint or interrupted in some species); chin bar present; caudal-fin lance…

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Betta chloropharynx KOTTELAT & NG, 1994

Green Throat Mouthbrooder

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

B. chloropharynx is included in the Betta waseri group/complex of closely-related species within the genus, an assemblage which also includes a handful of potentially new species such as B. sp. ‘Medas’ on an unofficial basis. The easiest way to distinguish these is by examining the throat markings which vary according to species.

In this case the lighter of these form a shape that roughly resembles a horizontal figure of ei…

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Betta kuehnei SCHINDLER & SCHMIDT, 2008

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

It can be told apart from other members of the B. pugnax group by the following characters: caudal fin rounded in both males and females; chin bar and second postorbital stripe absent; adult males possess intensive blue or bluish-green iridescent (blackish in preservation) colouration on the sides of the head and throat extending from the snout tip to posterior edge of opercle; possession of two central body stripes, the upper extending from the pec…

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Ctenops nobilis MCCLELLAND, 1845

Frail Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

This species is also referred to by the alternative vernacular name of 'noble gourami' and is currently the only recognised member of the genus Ctenops. It is usually regarded as being very difficult to keep whereas in reality it is quite adaptable once acclimatised but appears to react poorly to the export and shipping process meaning it is often seen on sale in poor condition and susceptible to or already infested with secondary health issues such as Oödinium, to which it appear…

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Sphaerichthys osphromenoides CANESTRINI, 1860

Chocolate Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

The genus Sphaerichthys currently comprises four species with S. osphromenoides by far the best known in the hobby. It’s easily distinguishable from the congeners S. vaillanti and S. acrostoma since both exhibit a notably more elongate head and body profile, reverse sexual dimorphism (i.e. females are the more colourful/strongly-patterened), and are paternal mouthbrooders.

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Sphaerichthys selatanensis VIERKE, 1979

Crossband Chocolate Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

This species is only occasionally seen in the hobby and sometimes sold as 'cherry chocolate gourami'. It was originally described as a subspecies of S. osphromenoides since the two are very similar-looking but has been considered a species in its own right since the late 1980s.

The two differ in the number ofrays (7 in S. selatanensis vs. 9-10 in S. osphromenoides),rays (7 vs. 8),…

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Trichogaster chuna (HAMILTON, 1822)

Honey Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

This species is readily available in the aquarium trade and is a good subject for those new to the hobby given its peaceable nature and relative adaptability in terms of water chemistry. It’s sold under various names including

A number of selectively-bred ornamental strains have also been produced including ‘red’, ‘sunset’, and ‘golden’, for which care is identical to the natural form.

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Helostoma temminkii CUVIER, 1829

Kissing Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

The pinkish-white form of this species is among the most widely-traded aquarium fishes in the world but does not occur naturally and is in fact a leucistic variant bred specifically for ornamental purposes. The 'short-bodied' or 'balloon' variety also continues to be fashionable but under no circumstances do we recommend the purchase of these intentionally disfigured animals which tend to have much shorter life spans than the naturally-shaped fish. There also exists a less-po…

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Parasphaerichthys ocellatus PRASHAD & MUKERJI, 1929

Eyespot Gourami

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

To date the species is known mostly from the upper Ayeyarwady River basin in northern Myanmar where it’s been collected close to the city of Myitkyina in Kachin State as well as around nearby Lake Indawgyi, the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia and home to ten globally threatened bird species.

The lake and surrounding area were designated a protected zone by the Ministry of Ecotourism in 1999 and now form the Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanc…

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Anabas testudineus (BLOCH, 1792)

Climbing Perch

March 13th, 2012 — 1:18pm

This species isn't especially popular in the aquarium trade but is undoubtedly interesting despite its lack of colour. In addition to its survival ability in the absence of water it's also capable of producing audible sounds though the purpose of these has not been fully-studied. Naturally-occurring xanthic and albino forms have also been recorded.

There is considerable confusion as to the taxonomic status of the two species currently occupying this genus, with ichthyologists widely…

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